AN EXCITING DRIVE AROUND WEST MAUI

AN EXCITING DRIVE AROUND WEST MAUI

Nail-biting return home

The trade winds have returned to Maui this morning. After more than a week of VOG (volcanic emissions), the sky was clear once again.

So I decided to try to kill two birds with one stone: Test the endurance and range of my Leaf (electric car) and enjoy some beautiful sights around the wild and woolly West Maui.

In the past, Elizabeth and I have driven around the West Maui mountains’ twisty single lane roads a number of times – in El Jeepo or some of our other gasoline-powered cars. But never in a Leaf.

Why not?

Because even if everything went according to plant, the round trip would be about 100 miles. Which equals the rated range of the Leaf under normal conditions.

Alas, conditions are never normal on a volcanic island like Maui. There are hills and valleys, headwinds and tailwinds, light and dark. So I realized I was taking a chance when I set out on this journey a little after noon today.

For, now let’s just say that the Leaf and I returned home around six this evening on a single charge. That’s 105 miles!

There was a bit of nail-biting toward the end, but we made it home on a single bar (there are 12 bars when the car is fully charged).

PHOTO ALBUM

Departure

It is rare that one can see so clearly the West Maui Mountains while driving from my home into Kahului. Normally, most Hawaiian volcano peaks are enveloped in clouds.

I took the first picture while driving past Ho’okipa Point, a famous surfing spot. The other two shots were taken from Kahului harbor. When the “Pride of America” cruise ship is in town (every Sunday and Monday), it instantly becomes the tallest structure in Kahului. 🙂

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Here’s also a view of it from across the Kahului harbor.

Maui’s “Rock of Gibraltar

Ever since we returned from our May 2014 trip to Europe, which included a visit to Gibraltar, I have been calling this rock on the northeast side of Maui as our “Rock of Gibraltar.”

The height of the overlook north of the “Rock of Gibraltar” offers wonderful views of the coastline to the north.

Blowhole Overlook

A few miles north of the “Rock of Gibraltar” is another popular tourist attraction – a Blowhole. I did not bother going down to the ocean to see it, but I did take in the wonderful ocean and coastline vista from the high overlook above the Blowhole.

img_0714View from the Blowhole overlook, northeast coast of West Maui

Enchanted forest at Honolua Bay

My next stop was Honolua Bay. I have never been here before today even though Honolua Bay is close to Kapalua, the first first spot on Maui where I landed for the first time in 1986.

Well today, I walked through this forest of huge trees and giant vines before reaching Honolua Bay. Take a look…

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Here are also some still shots from the enchanted forest and the Honolua Bay beach…

 D.T Fleming Beach Park

My next stop was another first – the D.T. Fleming Beach Park. The place is on the doorstep of Kapalua. Yet I have never been there before, either. The sign in the parking lot proudly announces it as “America’s Beast Beach of 2006.”

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Well, it is a nice beach. But America’s best beach? That sounds a bit too self-aggrandizing.

Who was D.T. Fleming? That’s what I was also wondering. So after some effort, I found out today that he was one of the early settlers here.  And he left behind a record of his experiences, “The Fleming Journals: West Maui Land Records and Family History 1905-1910”, which is now in Lahaina Library.

Kapalua Beach

Next was my longtime favorite – Kapalua Beach. That’s where I stayed when I first came to Maui in 1986.  The beach is still the same, and the views are beautiful. But there are a lot of condos now in place where there used to be just green lawns.

“Progress?” Not in my books.

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Kaanapali Beach

This is where I was hoping to recharge my Leaf’s battery. Alas, all charging stations were out of order. But I still had 6 out of 12 bars left in my battery.  So I was hoping I might make it back home on a single charge.

If so, that would be about 105 miles – 5 more than the rated range of my electric car. That’s because I had not charged the Leaf at home before I left this mornbbinbg. I did it the day before at Pukalani while I was doing laps in the swimming pool. So I figured, it would be touch-and-go driving home.

But, it is what it is. I figured God and my spirit guides know that they are doing.  So I shrugged and  I went to the Kaanapali Beach where I actually had my first and only swim of the day. It was already close to 4PM and the sun was getting low over the island of Lanai.

Visit to Lahaina

No trip around West Maui would be complete without a visit to Lahaina. So I parked at our usual spot in front of Starbucks, and then walked the length of Front Street all the way to the big Banyan tree and the Lahaina harbor. That’s where I took these pictures.

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By the time I headed back to my car, it was already almost 5PM.

“Ah, rush hour,” I thought.

There is only one road in and out of Lahaina. And at the end of the business day one is almost certain to end up in stop and go traffic. And so I did. We crawled all the way from Lahaina to Maalea Harbor where the road widens. Probably just as well as it helped save my car battery’s life.

I smiled when I realized that. “God knows indeed what He is doing.”‘

Drive Home: Winging It

When I got to about the Target store in Kahului, I was down to 3 bars in my car battery. That’s when I had to make a decision – do I go to Kaahumanu Mall and recharge, or risk it go for it – straight home.  I decided on the latter.

“God, now I need your help to get me home,” I said out loud.

I was thinking maybe those charging stations in Kaanapali were out for a reason – to test my faith and trust in spirit guidance.

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I got home comfortably with one bar in my car battery still left. Whew! 🙂

 

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

Is Already Causing Flash Floods at Rainbow Shower
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Just last night, after I completed my evening rounds of the Rainbow Shower, Elizabeth asked me, “how is it?”

“As perfect as can be,” I replied. “Wish I could freeze it like this.”

I had been working like a slave for three days this week to bring the four Rainbow Shower lawns into perfection, along with the shrubs, tree and other decorative plants on our property.

“But I know that’s wishful thinking,” I added.

We did not have to wait long to prove me right. As soon as I awoke this morning, hearing the roar of our creek, some 70 feet in elevation down in the gulch from our home, I knew we were experiencing another flash flood.

So I grabbed my umbrella (to protect the camera lens from rain), and walked down there. Butt naked. No sense in getting my clothes soaked. And not even birds are out and about in this kind of weather.

Here’s a 1.5 minute video clip I brought back:

FLASH FLOOD NUMBER…? [DARBY IS COMING]

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You will hear me conclude the broadcast by saying, “this is not the end.”

At the time, our internet was out. So I had no idea that this was not even a beginning. All this rain was just a forefront the tropical storm Darby is sending our way, I found out when the internet was restored. Packing winds of 50 to 65 mph, the eye of Darby is expected pass over the Big Island this afternoon, over Maui tonight, and exit the Hawaiian chain of islands over Kauai on Sunday night.

So “we ain’t seen nothing yet,” as my intuition suggested when I saw the flash flood down in the gulch this morning.

Here are some still pictures, too…

Here’s a weather report about Darby – for those of my FB friends who live in Hawaii:

TROPICAL STORM DARBY WILL CONTINUE TOWARD THE BIG ISLAND THIS MORNING. THE CENTER OF DARBY IS APPROACHING THE BIG ISLAND AND WILL PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… THE BIG ISLAND TODAY. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY… WITH THE CENTER OF DARBY EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… MAUI COUNTY TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. THEN… THE CENTER OF DARBY OF EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… OAHU LATE ON SUNDAY AND PASS VERY NEAR KAUAI COUNTY SUNDAY NIGHT. RAIN AND WIND WILL INCREASE WELL AHEAD OF THE CENTER AS IT MOVES ACROSS HAWAII.

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DARBY STORM UPDATE 2

July 23, 2016 1:15PM

SO FAR, SO GOOD… THE BRIDGES ARE STILL STANDING

Just got back up to the house after revisiting the gulch. And I am pleased to report that both of our bridges are still standing.

The foot bridge tarp has been ripped by the power of water. But it’s nothing major. I even crossed the foot bridge onto the other side to inspect the irrigation and drainage work I did there back in the spring. And the water is flowing normally through that new ditch into the main creek.

So, so far so good. But the worst is yet to come, probably this evening and overnight when the eye of Darby is supposed to pass over or near Maui.

Stand by for that…

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DARBY STORM UPDATE 3

July 24, 2016 8:147 AM

SERENITY NEAR THE EYE OF THE STORM

 

What a difference 24 hours can make. Yesterday at this time, our creek in the Rainbow Shower gulch was raging and flooding over our bridges (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-2QQ). This morning by contrast is wonderfully calm and serene. Hardly any wind. Plenty of moisture in the air. But our creek is back in its normal riverbed, happily running down the slopes of Haleakala.

Who would suspect then that the eye of the tropical storm Darby that caused all this upheaval in the last few days is about AS CLOSE TO US AS IT WILL BE.  Take a look at the radar and satellite maps I have just updated.

Only 50 miles or so to the southwest of us, the Eye of Darby is churning its way across the Pacific in the northwesterly direction toward Kauai.

So how can things be so calm here at the Rainbow Shower?

It is all because of Haleakala. The giant 10,000-ft volcano on whose northern slopes our property lies is acting like a giant windshield between us and Darby. So Darby’s winds and rain and spinning from the south around Haleakala – toward Hana in the east and Kihei in the west. This is leaving us in a safe cocoon of Haleakala’s wind shadow at the normally windy northern coast of Maui.

Our usual trade winds come from the northeast. Which is why north is called the Windward coast in Hawaiian islands. But not today. Today, we are experiencing a sort of a “pole reversal.”  The normally dry (and touristy) south and west coasts are getting pelted with rain and buffeted by wind, while we are enjoying a peaceful and serene Sunday morning.